Ofsted watch: Popular Italian restaurant chain served delectable report

A popular Italian restaurant chain has been served a complimentary report by Ofsted during a week of mostly positive reports in the FE sector.

Criticism was reserved for an NHS trust in London for its apprenticeship delivery and a private training provider which runs train driver and conductor apprenticeships.

The Azzurri Group, a market leader in Italian casual dining and operator of ASK Italian, Zizzi and Coco di Mama restaurants, was found to have made ‘significant progress’ in two out of three themes in an early monitoring visit.

Leaders and managers were praised by inspectors for designing “a well-rounded hospitality apprenticeship,” currently delivered with the level 3 hospitality supervisor standard, “that prepares apprentices very well for managerial positions”.

Its current cohort of 13 who all work at ASK Italian receive “high-quality coaching and mentoring” to help them complete their studies, take on responsibilities and gain additional qualifications, including in food safety and health and safety. 

Azzurri Restaurants Limited, which became a prime contractor for apprenticeships in October 2017, subcontracts to HIT Training to deliver the functional skills component of the apprenticeship.

Kickstart2Employment Ltd also received positive feedback from inspectors.

The Wrexham based independent learning provider received three scores of ‘significant progresses’ out of four in an early monitoring visit – there were 39 learners and 15 apprentices on the programme at the time.

Inspectors reported Kickstart2Employment uses their “well-developed links with partners, such as Jobcentre Plus and ex-offender referral agencies, to provide training opportunities for those who have been away from the workplace for extended periods of time”.

Individual and challenging sessions were designed by tutors, who have “excellent rapport with learners,” and apprentices “demonstrate excellent practical skills.”

Both providers were deemed to have made reasonable progress in ensuring effective safeguarding arrangements are in place.

An early monitoring visit of Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, in Marylebone, found it to have made ‘insufficient progress’ in two out of three areas in its apprenticeship programme.

The report stated leaders and staff “do not plan all the elements of the apprenticeship” to ensure the programme is completed within agreed timescales, and apprentices do not receive consistent access to planned off-the-job training. As a result, “the vast majority of apprentices do not make good progress”.

It also found that “managers have not implemented adequate teaching for English and mathematics functional skills”.

An independent learning provider, EMA Training Limited, requires improvement following a full inspection.

Most apprentices in scope for the inspection were on train driver and conductor apprenticeships with a single employer in the south east – their training is subcontracted to a private provider.

It requires improvement in the effectiveness of leadership and management as well as the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

The apprentices make “slow progress” in developing written English and maths and completing their apprenticeship. Planning is “poor” and “leaders and managers do not ensure that subcontracted provision is good.”

However, all apprentices achieve their qualifications and all learners move into employment.

All other providers that received early monitoring reports this week scored reasonable progress across the board.

These were: Always Consult LTD, Blue Sky Assessing & Consultancy Ltd, Centrepoint Soho, FE Business Limited, Introtrain & Forum Limited, Universal Learning Streams (USL) Limited, Certas Energy UK Limited and Skanska UK PLC.

Trinity Solutions Academy was the only 16-19 academy to be inspected during this period while Lifebridge ASEND was the only Independent Specialist College. They both were found making ‘reasonable progress’ in every category of a monitoring visit following previous grade three ratings.


Independent Learning Providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Always Consult LTD 21/08/2019 24/09/2019 M N/A
Blue Sky Assessing & Consultancy Ltd 29/08/2019 27/09/2019 M N/A
Centrepoint Soho 14/08/2019 25/09/2019 M N/A
EMA Training Limited 29/08/2019 27/09/2019 3 M
FE Business Limited 21/08/2019 27/09/2019 M N/A
Introtrain & Forum Limited 28/08/2019 23/09/2019 M N/A
Kickstart2Employment Ltd 14/08/2019 23/09/2019 M N/A
Universal Learning Streams (USL) Limited 21/08/2019 25/09/2019 M N/A


Sixth Form Colleges (inc 16-19 academies) Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Trinity Solutions Academy 13/09/2019 25/09/2019 M 3


Employer providers Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Azzurri Restaurants Limited 20/08/2019 25/09/2019 M N/A
Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust 14/08/2019 26/09/2019 M N/A
Certas Energy Uk Limited 21/08/2019 23/09/2019 M N/A
Skanska UK PLC 14/08/2019 26/09/2019 M N/A


Specialist colleges Inspected Published Grade Previous grade
Lifebridge ASEND 13/09/2019 27/09/2019 M 3